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Heat concerns

The forecast high for council bluffs for next Saturday and Sunday are 100* with lows in the upper 70’s. If this forecast holds, I fear it will cost someone(s) their life. A/c will be hard to come by as everyone will be swarming the library’s and stores and consequently overloading those places cooling systems. Has the actual temp ever actually made it to 100*. I would anticipate dew points to be in the upper 60’s to lower 70’s. That puts heat indexes in the 105-115* range.

41 Replies

Sam, July 15, 2019 at 10:19 am

2012 my team mostly rode at night, until the weather broke after Marshalltown.


bugs11, July 15, 2019 at 10:43 am

My advise is to train in the heat, it really can’t be avoided. To cool down, pour cool water over your head and wear a water soaked bandanna around your neck. And of course avoid alcohol and drink plenty of electrolyte treated water. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Did 84 miles yesterday, heat index was 98-100 entire time. I survived and feel fine today. The Bloody Mary and air conditioning was very welcome at the end of the ride though.


garywilk, July 15, 2019 at 10:45 am

2012 was also the black outfit. Wear something light colored and a white helmet if you have one. That does help a lot. Sunday still looks like 10 F cooler than 2012 and the rest of the week looks really good. Just hydrate, eat light and often, sunscreen, and ride right!! Also please give signals so we can all keep the wheels where they should be.


mootsman, July 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm

2012 was super-hot but don’t forget about 2011. Mid to upper 90s were the highs but we had all time record humidity in the upper mid-west that year. It was awful. And the predictions the Friday before were for mid-80s so it was unexpected. I would not have gone had the forecast been accurate. I left Wednesday at 10pm because it was still 94 and humid even that late.


RDaryl Daryl, July 15, 2019 at 1:03 pm

I always thought that Saggy Thursday on XXIII (1995) was the history making day for RAGBRAI Heat, Humidity & Headwinds.
But then again, there was always the hot humid memory of riding into and out of Decorah on XXVII (1999). High school showers were hot with no temperature controls.
However, I was younger back then and had a much better memory.


jwsknk, July 15, 2019 at 1:41 pm

the current forecast for central Iowa shows the heat peaking this Thursday or Friday at 96-97, Dropping off to around 90 Sunday and Monday. and the lows dropping from 78 to 71. Of course, they could change all that yet.


Kelly Paananen, July 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm

As a first time RAGBRAI rider this is my biggest fear, the heat. I got heat stroke ONCE 3 years ago when I rode 50 miles from Boise to Prairie, ID. It was 110 and took me 7 hours grinding gravel. I was delirious and we almost called medics but were lucky to find a little motel room with with A/C and a cold shower. Couldn’t eat or drink much. The worst!


Bentongoing, July 15, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Fear not!
It is amazing how everyone watches out for everyone on RAGBRAI. If you pull over to the side, within 10 seconds you’ll have someone asking if you’re ok. Just don’t make the mistake I do, and say “I’m fine”.
Instead, say, “I could use some help”.
It’ll restore your faith in humanity!


mootsman, July 15, 2019 at 2:59 pm

It also appears the humidity will fade after this Wednesday until our short Tuesday ride into Indianola when it gets up to 70% again.


KenH, July 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm

If you are careful to ride within your capabilities you should be fine. If you have children along you must be very careful with them, especially if they have a history of not being willing to say so when they are in distress. You know your children, I do not, but just be careful of believing “I’m OK” when you think they are not!

I agree, there are a lot of helpful people on this ride so if you need help say something. There is also the SAG wagon. If you need help turn your bike(s) upside down on the left side of the road. If you need help because of heat distress be sure to do this at a shady spot and stay in the shade until help arrives even if the shade is on the right side of the road. Your bike(s) on the left side will cue the SAG wagon to stop. If you feel its an emergency call 911. There are ambulances along the route.

As long as we are talking about weather be aware that there is a weather alert text message service you can sign on with. I don’t know if they have heat advisory alerts but they will alert you to dangerous storms for sure. You can get the information from the blog posting near the bottom of the main RAGBRAI web page but for your convenience I have copied it below:

ALERT IOWA is an emergency messaging system. The system allows officials to quickly disseminate emergency information to riders along the route via text message. These messages include Tornado Warnings, Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Flash Flood Warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Riders that signed up last year for notifications will need to do so again this year.

Text RAGBRAI to 69310
You will receive a confirmation message upon successfully signing up

The service will be active July 20-27, 2019.
You will only receive emergency notifications.
Standard text rates may apply.


Larry Klaaren, July 15, 2019 at 5:34 pm

I am already subscribed to Alert Iowa for Mahaska County, which is where the family farm that my sisters and I own is at. Works great. Evan at 3 a.m. Since I live in the south suburbs of Chicago, I am not always glad to get that message, but it does work. I can imagine when everybody in camp, or at the evening entertainment, or on the road has their alert tone go off at the same time. My phone is also set to receive emergency alerts for wherever I am at from the National Weather Service. I should be well informed.


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